10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – February 19, 2013


1. US gas prices are expected to fall over the next couple of years as fuel consumption levels off, indicating that vehicle fuel-economy gains may have positive long-term effect on everyone’s budget.

2. GM nets income of $4.9B in 2012, down from $7.9B in 2011 faults slow European sales.

3. Toyota announced it has reached a $29 million dollar settlement with the Attorneys General of 29 states and one US territory that will resolve their complaints relating to recalls performed by the automaker from 2005-2010, including those related to sticky accelerators and malfunctioning floor mats that may have contributed to cases of unintended acceleration.

4. Chrysler recalling 278,222 trucks and SUVs over bad rear axles – impacted models include Dodge Dakota, Ram 1500, Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango.

5. According to Wards Auto, the initial run of 800 Vipers has already sold out with deliveries starting next month.

6. Of $418 billion disbursed through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) (a program designed, started and implemented under the Bush Administration and continued by the Obama Administration) a report in Automotive News indicates that “about 93 percent” has been paid back, and the latest figures put Treasury’s loss from the program overall at $55.58 billion. That’s a $4.1 billion improvement on the last figure, when the expected red ink added up to $59.68 billion. The auto industry’s portion of that loss is estimated to be $20.3 billion, a 16-percent drop from the earlier estimate of $24.3 billion.

7. Chrysler has issued a recall for 3,660 Viper models from the 2003 and 2004 model years for sudden airbag deployment problems.

8. CNN recreates the NYT Tesla Model S drive with miles to spare. NYT says it stands by its review. Tesla suing. Everyone is taking sides. In the end it’s probably good publicity for Tesla.

9. Given lawsuits over the Toyota, Kia and Hyundai goofs on promised fuel economy, the NHTSA has said it will more closely monitor fuel mileage claims from car makers.

10. How much does it cost to crash 132 cars for a movie? How about $11 million for the new Bruce Willis Die Hard movie.

10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – February 13, 2013


1. Chevy Malibu sales aren’t what GM hoped for so the company is reducing prices to as low as $23,150 MSRP to generate more interest in the car.

2. Chevy has abandoned it’s “Run Deep” slogan in favor of “Find New Roads.” I always liked the Run Deep commercials. The new slogan debuts along with the new C7 Corvette ad.

3. US Mercedes Benz fans are groaning at the new that the new CLA Edition 1 will be sold exclusively in Europe.

4. Our favorite car-related commercial “So God Made A Farmer” got Dodge Ram trucks a lot of notice. But it also helped a very worthy organization. The Future Farmers of America got a cool $1 million as a result of a charity drive tied to the ad.

5. In case you are the kind of person with lots of time on your hand, good news – the Monopoly race car piece was NOT cut from the game. The poor iron wasn’t so lucky and got the boot in favor of a new cat piece.

6. Jaguar is now showing the F-Type to journalists. The preproduction cars are on tour and will start to appear in US showrooms (for ordering purposes only) later this month. Jaguar announced that the coupe version of the F-Type won’t ship until 2014.

7. You may have thought we were done with Corvette C7 news but you were wrong. GM has promised it’s staging the world premiere of the model’s convertible version at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

8. If you want the cheapest car to own, Kelly Blue Book says that at the brand level, Mazsa and Lexus earn the crown when it comes to five year costs.

9. If you had your heart set on a new 2013 Range Rover you better have already put your money down. Land Rover says the car is sold out (pre-order) for at least six months and maybe a year. Ummm can’t you guys make more?

10. Automotive News Europe says Honda’s sales in Europe are so bad that it will cut 800 workers from the Swindon, England plant that builds the CR-V, Civic and Jazz (a.k.a. Fit).

10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – February 5, 2013


10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – February 6, 2013

1. Toyota announces two recalls affecting one million Corolla, Matrix and Lexus IS models for airbags and wiper issues.

2. U. S. Auto Sales are up. Chrysler earns $1.7 billion in 2012.

3. Honda is integrating Apple’s “SIRI” voice-recognition into some models.

4. For years, Corvette owners have been offered a chance to attend the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School with Corvettes, including the ZR1 – now Cadillac joins Fellows with the V-Series Academy – at a cost of $1295 for one day or $2295 for two days.

5. BMW is recalling it’s “1 Series Active E” due to a bad drive train housing.

6. GM is investing $600 million in a plant that produces Malibu and LaCrosse in Kansas.

7. GM recalls 4000 cars for airbag problems. The driver’s side airbag shorting bar in the 2012 Buick Verano and 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze and Sonic might make contact with the airbag terminals, even during a crash. If so, the airbag won’t deploy when it should, possibly increasing injury to the driver.

8. It’s official – the SRT Viper will make a return to the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

9. Cars were the stars of the Superbowl – there were 13 car-related ads. At CarLoves.com we vote the FARMER/Dodge Ram commercial the best.

10. GM recalled 8,500 Chevrolet Malibu models for rear suspension glitch.

10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – January 29, 2013


1. The Detroit News is reporting that Ford’s Focus Electric car is selling slowly so Ford is kicking in big rebates to try to spur sales.

2. Automotive News says that Tesla Motors is upping production of the Model S to 400 a week with a goal of 20,000 a year.

3. Fuel cells aren’t talked about as much as traditional electric cars, but they aren’t going away. Daimler, Ford and Nissan have agreed to collaborate on fuel cell technology.

4. In recall news – Toyota is recalling sixteen models from the 2009 to 2013 model year for possible airbag issues.

5. TheDetroitBureau.com says Toyota has retaken the global sales crown. The Japanese automaker pulled just ahead of General Motors and Volkswagen in 2012.

6. Car companies & the government are listening – on social media. Hyundai and Chrysler have someone dedicated to watching Twitter for complaints, and federal agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey forums and websites for hints about possible defects.

7. Think you’ve heard it all about the C7 Corvette? Nope. Autoweek says General Motors is reportedly using the Geneva Motor Show as its venue to debut the Corvette Stingray convertible.

8. Juan Pablo Montoya in a BMW won the 24 hour Rolex race at Daytona.

9. Despite predictions  to the contrary, auto sales in the first month of 2013 have been strong, continuing the trend set in 2012. Sales are predicted to be up at least eight percent.

10. General Motors will invest $600 million to upgrade its Fairfax, Kan., plant, where it builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse sedans.

10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – January 21, 2013


1. GM CEO Dan Akerson let go of his incredible 1958 Corvette for a charity auction conducted by Barrett-Jackson and the car hammered for $270k. All the proceeds went to Habitat for Humanity Detroit.

2. The US Treasury has taken steps to sell off it’s remaining 300 million shares in GM. The shares are trading at $29 at the time of this writing.

3. In our first recall of this week, Honda is recalling 748k Odyssey and Pilot models over airbag concerns.

4. According to the 14th Annual Global Automotive Executive Survey by KPMG LLP, global auto executives say Volkswagen and BMW are the two favorites to increase global market share over the next five years. Perceptions of Hyundai’s likelihood to gain share have fallen while Toyota jumps after two down years. U.S. auto brands are also strongly positioned among major global brands.

5. The Detroit Auto Show is history. The C7 Corvette stole the show, but there were other notable cars, including the Benz CLA, the Destino (think Fisker only more reliable and expensive) the Cadillac ELR (one of two electric cars on the list) and the massive, brutish, Ford Atlas Concept – sure to be driven by Viagra subscribers everywhere.

6. If you are a car guy in Iran, your luck is running out. Maserati and Lamborghini are joining Daimler, Toyota, Porsche, Hyundai, Peugeot and Fiat in halting sales to Iran.

7. One of six original Batmobiles produced for the 1960s ABC “Batman” TV series has sold at the Barrett Jackson auction for $4.6 million.

8. A new online service enables car shoppers to test drive vehicles without going to a dealership. Tred, a Seattle startup with ties to former GM CEO Rick Wagoner, cuts dealership trips by delivering new vehicles for consumers to test drive and possibly purchase.

9. Alfa Romeos to be sold in U.S. again by year’s end with the new 4C sports car.

10. The Toyota Prius C, the newest member of Toyota Prius “family,” has been named the nation’s “greenest” vehicle by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Cadillac ATS Car of the Year

The 2013 Cadillac ATS has been named North American Car of the Year at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The 2013 ATS  is the most agile and lightweight Cadillac, with one of the lowest curb weights in the segment – less than 3,400 pounds (1,542 kg). A broad lineup of engines – including two four-cylinders and a V-6 for North America – delivers strong power to the ATS and capitalizes on the car’s lightweight structure to complement its performance with efficiency.
The optional engines include an all-new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 270 horsepower (201 kW) and Cadillac’s award-winning 3.6L V-6, estimated at 318 horsepower (237 kW). At 135hp/L, the new 2.0T is one of the most power-dense engines in the industry, topping engines from European competitors. 
ATS will offer both manual and automatic transmission options, along with rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations. The ATS delivers peak highway fuel economy of more than 30 mpg.